Hubby’s on Day 4 of his weight loss challenge, a contest I was banned from entering for being “too skinny.” He and eight of our male and female friends started this pretty simple competition. Each of them put $10 toward a prize pot, weighed themselves on the 1st, and whoever loses the highest percentage of total body weight by the end of the month wins the money. The competitor in me was sad, but I’ll admit, despite my dad’s fervent warnings when I was a teenager, my eating habits still haven’t caught up with me.
My dad warned me of the Army weight standards when I was in college, but I’ve never been close to enrollment in the weight control program. According to Army Regulation 600-9, The Army Weight Control Program, I can weigh up to 173 pounds at my current height and age. If I weigh more than 173 pounds, I have to be taped or measured for my body fat percentage which, by the way, can be up to 34 percent. The closest I’ve come to 173 pounds was when I was six months pregnant.
Every Army Physical Fitness Test I’ve taken concluded with the dreaded weigh-in. Nothing pleasant about a company of men and women in their gym shorts, shirts, and sweaty socks standing in line behind a weight scale AFTER completing a workout. I can still smell the rows of stinky shoes outside of the room. I don’t have a lot of experience with the validity of the men’s weight standards in the Army, but I think the women’s standards are crap. That’s right, I said crap. Even in my best shape (think heavy muscle on my frame) benching my body weight, I never weighed more than 165 pounds. It’s hard for me to believe that I could ever be a lean, mean, Army fighting machine with fat making up over 1/3 of my body composition.
I realize that my crazy metabolism gives me an advantage, but even my soldiers that struggled with their weight agreed that the standards are pretty lenient. Trying to stay politically correct, a lot of male soldiers won’t speak publicly about the unequal standards. Yes, I understand the physiologically women have a higher body fat percentage then men, but I think the current weight control program is easier on women then men when it comes to standards. According to the chart, men, due to a lower weight requirement per their height/age, are more likely to be taped for body fat then women.
Comparing Hubby’s friends weight to the Army standard, the men aren’t within the standard, however, all of the women are in the standard. If my civilian girlfriends have higher expectations for themselves than the Army has for its female soldiers, I think something needs to change. No offense to my friends, but their main mission right now isn’t protecting our nation. I’m proud of Hubby and my friends for wanting a healthier weight for their life. I’m just hoping the Army will soon want that for their female soldiers.
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